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Grant Cohn: 49ers need Kap insurance

  • Colin Kaepernick has a face-to-face moment with Vernon Davis in an earlier game against Seattle. (John Burgess / The Press Democrat)

The 49ers need a new quarterback.

This is not to say the 49ers should give up on Colin Kaepernick — with the right coaching he may still have a future. But they shouldn't go all in with him, either. The 49ers should hedge their bets, draft a quarterback who could back up Kaepernick as a rookie and could eventually take over as the starter like Joe Montana took over from Steve DeBerg. They should draft someone in the third or fourth round. Create competition.

I have someone in mind, but before I get to him, let me tell you why the Niners need a new quarterback.

First, Kaepernick has not improved as a pocket passer.

Every Super-Bowl-winning quarterback has won it from the pocket. Check it out. Kaepernick will be 27 next season and he still is raw talent — has speed and arm strength. His three years in the NFL, he has not improved his accuracy, footwork or ability to see the whole field from the pocket. That reflects poorly on him and the 49ers' offensive coaches — Jim Harbaugh, offensive coordinator Greg Roman and quarterbacks coach Geep Chryst.

Second, Kaepernick chokes under pressure.

He choked at the end of the Super Bowl, forced three straight passes to Michael Crabtree at the goal line and hoped he caught one of them. Matt McGloin could do that.

Since losing the Super Bowl, Kaepernick has gotten worse under pressure. This season, his passer rating in the fourth quarter was 61 and his passer rating while losing was 72. Alarming.

Just a few days ago in the NFC championship game against the Seahawks, Kaepernick produced one of the worst individual fourth-quarter performances in playoff history. The 49ers had three possessions in the fourth quarter. They ended with a fumble by Kaepernick and two interceptions. If the Seahawks win the Super Bowl, Kaepernick's last interception of the game — the one Richard Sherman tapped to Malcolm Smith in the end zone — will go down as an iconic moment in Seahawks franchise history, what “The Catch” by Dwight Clark means to the 49ers.

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